Since the death of Pastor Percy Chisenga last year, Malamulo is HeartCry’s only partner in Malawi. Mala has been laboring in Blantyre since 2008, when he and American missionary Frank Maxson first established Antioch Baptist Church. Mala is now laboring as the preaching pastor of ABC. The following update is Mala’s report from the days leading up to his marriage on June 15, 2013. Please pray for Mala and his new wife Rachel.
Thank you so much for your many prayers for Rachel and me. Truly the Lord is answering the prayers of the saints; He is forever faithful indeed. Just to let you know, we are so grateful that you do take time to pray for us. It is no small thing for us to know that you come before God, and our names are on your lips. Thank you!
A few days ago, I made the 37-hour trip from Malawi to South Africa for my wedding on June 15. This trip is always one of the hardest things to do: the buses are packed, the music is loud, the music videos and movies on the bus are as wicked as they come, there are corrupt customs officals and security guards, and so on. The corruption you see dealing with border crossings is beyond words. One is left grieved to see such things happen as if it were the order of the day. The next time you decide to make such a trip, contact me first!
I arrived safely, in spite of what I had to endure for those two days. I thank God for His goodness and mercy in keeping me through it all. He kept me throughout the trip and protected me from the evils that come with a journey like this one.
Normally, South Africa is freezing this time of year. It isn’t currently, however, and we are praying it will remain this way until June 15.
Preparations are under way, and our joy is uncontainable. I cannot begin to describe it! Rachel and I are rejoicing each day, as we both are experiencing an unusual measure of joy during this time. The Lord is gracious, and we are thankful. In the midst of this, we are having to deal with cultural/traditional ways of doing weddings, some of which are not biblical and are just unnecessary expenses. Please do pray that we stand and be good witnesses to our families in areas we feel we strongly differ and cannot compromise. We have our challenges, but God is still sovereign!
Antioch Family in Blantyre
I have been sharing with the brothers and sisters here in South Africa that I left Malawi encouraged with what the Lord is doing there. I believe the Lord has been blessing our people in specific ways. We are not left without challenges on this end of heaven, but it is the way we deal with those challenges that counts. Our beloved brother Dan Kalima went through a major operation on his spine, and we all prayed with trembling. Dan is a young man in our church who is still in college. He remained strong, prayerful, and joyful in the midst of the operation. His healing has been quick and unusual. We praise God for His goodness upon our Brother Dan! Our Brother Eric had his one-year-old son admitted to the hospital for two nights, and when the church met and prayed, the child was discharged the following morning. I can continue on and on, sharing of the Lord’s goodness and enduring mercies upon Antioch: allowing trials and sufferings in the lives of our people, but giving them grace to suffer well.
I was glad to come to South Africa for my wedding, having finished my preaching series in the book of Hebrews. The many testimonies I have heard during this period I’ve been preaching through Hebrews has brought more encouragement and confidence in the faithful preaching of God’s Word from our pulpit. Pray for Pastor Frank Maxson, who is left to do the bulk of the work of preaching while I am away. He has started preaching through 1 Peter.
While in South Africa, I will not be engaging in preaching for friends in their churches, as I’m trying to concentrate on my wedding preparations. I am taking one opportunity to preach at the historical Lynnwood Baptist Church after the wedding. This is one of the few reformed churches in South Africa, and the church has faithfully preached the gospel for more than forty years. Our brother, Pastor Ronald Kalifungwa, who is marrying us, pastored this same church for eight years before moving to Lusaka Baptist Church. Not only is it a humbling experience to minister among these brethren, but also a great joy and opportunity to labour with and amongst such brothers and sisters. Remember me in prayer to proclaim His goodness and mercy in the midst of a life-changing period.
Conversions at Antioch
We are rejoicing with our two sisters in the church who are professing and testifying of Christ’s saving power in their lives. For quite a while, we have been sharing the gospel with these two young ladies. A few years ago, they came to Antioch professing to know the Lord, and we were convinced after a while that they did not know Him. We kept on sharing with them the good news of Jesus Christ. These two ladies are professing faith now and also manifesting fruit and marks of saving faith. Please pray that this is genuine and that the Lord will give us, as elders, wisdom to nurture these souls for the glory of Christ.
Rachel and My Marriage
Up to this point, we can only testify of the Lord’s grace in keeping us faithful, as we both believe we are relating well. Pray for grace that we don’t spoil things in the remaining eleven days. We are also grateful that the Lord has given us grace to communicate well in this period where there’s a lot of pressure on both of us.
Pray for us, that things will continue this way, that we will continue in purity and healthy communication. We also continue to get to know each other better as we deal with the many details in preparation for the wedding.
We would not mind being the most counseled couple (if that were possible)! Even though there is much to be done with little time, due to doing a lot of things on our own, we continue to meet with Pastor Tim Cantrell; and we are continuing to read Dr. Wayne Mack’s book, Strengthening Your Marriage. Rachel and I are also almost done reading through the Gospel of Matthew. Pray for me to be more prepared to play my new role as a husband and for Rachel as a wife.
We have seen the body of Christ both in Malawi and South Africa come alongside us in many ways, encouraging us. In the midst of our tight schedule, we are meeting with different couples who have been talking to us about different things and cultural issues we need to be aware of as a married couple. We will also sit down with Pastor Kalifungwa for two counseling sessions before the big day.
How You Can Pray
Pray for Pastor Frank Maxson, who is left alone to shepherd a growing and vibrant congregation while I am away. This comes with great challenges. Brother Maxson and I both believe that we need a true revival of the heart. This is the need of the hour for us: that we will truly love our Lord and Savior, that His love for us will be the fuel for our devotion, that we would respond well to His unconditional love, and that we will spend ourselves for the glory of His name. Psalm 2 has warmed my heart while here. Truly, we must desire the winning of the nations to Christ, that His fame will spread throughout the earth.
Please pray also for me. My courtship to Rachel has been closely watched by my own people in the church and by the wider community, both in Blantyre, Malawi and in South Africa. So will be my marriage. Please pray that the Lord will prepare me for my role as a husband. Pray for Rachel and her new role as a wife and, more so, as a pastor’s wife. We are both entering something completely new, and we need His great help. Pray for Rachel, as she will be adjusting to a completely new life, and pray for new and healthy relationships with other ladies in the church in Malawi.